CABSAT 2014: Middle East shows taste for OTT, online TV

Editor | 10-03-2014

Highlighting the changing face of TV in the GCC region, research from Irdeto has found growing popularity of over-the-top, on-demand and multiscreen entertainment in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

The multiscreen, revenue assurance and media protection solutions provider said that the survey provided clear evidence that services such as icflix and Netflix were transforming TV.

Just under a quarter (23%) of consumers would prefer to watch TV, movies or sports content through online TV services as these services would allow them to watch content on a wider variety of devices. Indicating that consumers are becoming agnostic regarding their technology choice, almost a fifth of respondents (19%) stated a desire for a single account which allows them to access to TV, movies and sport content across multiple devices and 29% of respondents said they did not have a preference for satellite TV or online TV in the future: they just want a service that gives them access to their content on any device. A similar percentage said that live sports streaming was the most important feature of a multiscreen service. In total 40% in total said that they would prefer to use Internet TV services in the future.

As operators and broadcasters in the Middle East continue to evolve quickly to meet consumer demand for modern experiences, Irdeto said that the new research underscores significant growth potential for multiscreen and OTT services in the region.

“The GCC research we have conducted ahead of CABSAT really underlines the growth of linear pay-TV and the huge untapped market potential in the region for OTT services,” said John Illingworth, sales director, Middle East, Irdeto. “Broadcasters and operators should continue to focus on compelling multiscreen services and potentially at consolidation of different platforms at competitive prices – early entrants into the OTT market clearly have a receptive audience and it is essential for operators to capitalise on this.”